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Bringing My Car

Posted by Dinny, 02 February 2006 · 4,013 views

The other day Yannis was kindly guiding me by telephone to filling in a form to OTE requiring the subscription to ISDN "flat rate" (believe me, it's not flat at all!). At the end of the form I signed, but then I also had to sign after the next two pages of rules and regulations, all in Greek, naturally. So, even though I don't understand a word of what is written, I sign as an acknowledgement of having read, understood and accepted these rules. If these rules are putting any kind of obligation on my shoulders I shall not abide, since I don't know what I agreed to. But, if I don't sign, I cannot obtain what I want, and ISDN flat rate connection.

I have the feeling that when Greece joined the European Community it might have been a little like the above scenario. Somebody filled in the forms and finally told Greece that if they wanted a part of the heavy EU subsidies for this and that, they should just sign on the bottom line. Wauw! Like winning the lottery! Unfortunately, there are a few catches, things to do, obligations to fulfill, laws to abide by, not to speak about the general vision of the EU that the partners in the European Union should not make life more difficult for its inhabitants, on the contrary, they should work towards erasing frontiers, both physical and mental.

One of EU's corner stones is the idea of free circulation f labour. Citizens within the EU are free to settle down to live and work in any of the other countries, bringing their belongings without having to pay customs duties or tax whatsoever. Because the European Union is a community without borders. Changing your domicile and working place from London to Athens should be no more difficult than changing it from London to Birmingham. And when you go from London to Birmingham you just bring your stuff and your car with you without any problems at all.

Moving from Italy to Greece should be just as easy. I packed my belongings in the removal truck, stuffed my suitcases in my car, and just went. I asked for and obtained a Residence Permit and now I want to abide by the laws and change the registration of my car from Italy to Greece. To help any of you people out there having the same insane idea I shall list the documents I am asked to present in order to obtain a certificate of change of residence, essential requirement to be able to apply for Greek license plates:

  • Passport (original)

  • Vehicle Registration disc (original)

  • Certificate of ownership to the car (original)

  • Drivers License (authenticated copy)

  • Residence Permit Greece (authenticated copy)

  • Residence Permit Italy (authenticated copy)

  • Historical Certificate of Residence in Italy (stating from/till) (original)

  • Certificate of Family Situation (original)

  • Certificate of Cancellation from Register of Residence in Italy (original)

  • Copy of my Italian lease contract

  • Copies of my tax return for 2003, 2004, and copies of my monthly wage packets Jan-July 2005

  • Signed declaration to confirm that I have never asked for residence in Greece before and that I intend to ask for it now.

  • Letter addressed to the Greek Consulate in Milan asking them to issue a Certificate of Change of Residence.

  • 25 Euro in cash.
These documents are to be presented to the Greek Consulate in the country I have left - and where I could not have applied for such a certificate before my departure - and if I do not wish to return personally to Italy to present them, it will be my responsibility whatever happens to the documents if I send them by mail or courier. After this, it will be possible for me to have the certificate consigned to me by the Foreign Ministry in Athens, where I shall, naturally, have to go personally to pick it up.

With this Certificate I can now apply for my car to be registered in Greece. To this application, besides most of the above documents, I shall have to add the Certificate of Conformity, which by the way is kept by the Italian Vehicle Registration office and cannot be released untill the Italian license plates are returned to said office.

If I find this procedure too complicated I am welcome to pay a 100% import tax on my vehicle as if I had imported any other car directly from another country without ever owning it.

This, my fellow EU citizens, is the Greek concept of free circulation of labour. huh.gif

We are going to benefit from your experience (and that of other people) and when the day finally comes when it would be good to own a car in Crete we will buy one there. UNLESS by then the full concept of teh benefits and obligations of belonging to the EU are understood and unnecessary bureaucracy stopped.

This way we can concentrate on what we like about Crete rather than the less positive aspects.

Of course we will want to buy one with a full service history!!! biggrin.gif

One obstacle removed:

This morning I received a call from the Greek Consulate in Milan informing me that the customs authorities have no legal right to require presentation of the Certificate of Conformity. The Vehicle Registration Certificate could not have been issued if the Certificate of Conformity did not exist, and whether I returned the Italian license plates to the Vehicle Registration Office or not, I could never obtain this Certificate of Conformity since it shall forever remain in said office.

The Consulate told me to ask the customs authorities for information about on which law/directive they were basing their request and to demand a photocopy of such law in case they insist.

Well, that certainly simplificates things a lot! wink.gif
Would one be correct in assuming that you are completely fed up with all the paperwork that keeps lil' ol' civil servants like me in employment?
But look on the bright side.....you'll still be able to drive along quiet roads with the warm Cretan sun shining down on you whilst us poor souls are still stuck in the rather cold and damp UK!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I think that perhaps you have been stuck in the house too long with the translation work and need a break...there you are permission to have a couple of days off........ Enjoy it red tape and all.
Thanks, Dawe! I was actually planning on having a couple of days off, so with your permission I feel totally justified. biggrin.gif

As for red tape and bureaucracy I think I'll just give up (which is exactly the intention of the Greek authorities), because I prefer to enjoy life in Crete instead of eating my heart out due to stupid obstacles like this. So I'll try to get rid of my car and buy a Greek one. Pity though, it took me three years to pay for it, and now that it's finally mine I can't see how I shall be able to keep it. Well, who cares, as you say: I live in Crete, what else could one possibly need in life?


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